Currently-taught courses

Semester in Alternate Realities

IAT 802: Quantitative Research Methods and Design

IAT 312: Foundations of Game Design

Recently-taught courses:

IAT 445: Immersive Environments

IAT 805: Graduate Colloquium

Previously-taught courses:

IAT 201: Human-Computer Interaction & Cognition

IAT 812: Cognition, Learning and Collaboration 

IAT 312: Foundations of Game Design

(first taught in Fall 2017)

Course outline

For their final game project, stu­dents were asked to design a non-digital game that includes Lazzaro’s so-called “seri­ous fun’ aspect: That is, the game should be mean­ing­ful or add value, e.g., by pro­vid­ing a novel/meaningful user expe­ri­ence, dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, altered states etc.

Main tex­book: Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games (2014) by Tracy Fullerton (avail­able online through the SFU library).

Pictures from final showcase on Dec 13, 2017

Sample Project Videos




Left Behind Bars   

False Illusion   


One Week to Refuge   



IAT 445: Immersive Environments

(first taught in Spring 2013)

Course Description

In this project-based course, you will use an immer­sion frame­work to design, create, and eval­u­ate immer­sive vir­tual envi­ron­ments and the inter­ac­tion between the user and the vir­tual envi­ron­ment. To do this, we will com­bine hands-on fun­da­men­tals with inter­ac­tion, ani­ma­tion, and immer­sive vir­tual real­ity design and the­o­ret­i­cal and research con­cerns. Your project will serve to both moti­vate and implement/showcase these aspects. The course will cul­mi­nate in a final inter­ac­tive project show­case and project pitch (oral/video) of your team project.

see SFU’s Teaching & Learning blog for a news story on my first offer­ing of this course in 2013, enti­tled: “How a SIAT course in immer­sive envi­ron­ments exposed stu­dents to the real world

Course Objectives, Learning Goals & Outcomes

In this course, you will learn and be pre­pared to:

1.    Examine the his­tory and con­cep­tual frame­works sur­round­ing “immer­sion” and “immer­sive­ness” and what this means for dig­i­tal immer­sive envi­ron­ments and their users.

2. Apply a con­cep­tual frame­work in rela­tion to your own immer­sive project/interface and use it to cri­tique immer­sive projects like yours.

3. Demonstrate mod­er­ate pro­fi­ciency using appro­pri­ate soft­ware (cur­rently: Unity 3D) to design and build inter­ac­tive (includ­ing user inter­ac­tion and ani­ma­tion) immer­sive 3D vir­tual envi­ron­ments and dis­play them on off-the-shelf com­pu­ta­tional devices/displays (cur­rently: HMDs like the Oculus Rift).

4. Engage in a small team, to apply an agile and iter­a­tive inter­ac­tion design process to define project goals and processes, and then iter­a­tively design, build, eval­u­ate and refine an immer­sive envi­ron­ment and the user’s inter­ac­tion with it.

What’s in it for you?

You will learn how to design, build, and iter­a­tively refine an immer­sive and inter­ac­tive VR expe­ri­ence that should blow the user away and pos­i­tively affect them in a mean­ing­ful way. To do this, you will use the pop­u­lar Unity 3D game engine and guid­ance from an immer­sion frame­work. You will most likely be imple­ment­ing this for head-mounted dis­plays so you’ll be able to show­case it wher­ever you go – includ­ing your next job inter­view and your next party. Combining a public project show­case with an exec­u­tive sum­mary and a final project video can fur­ther improve your resume/portfolio and marketability.

SHIFT: VR4Good Addressing Climate Change & Consumerism: IAT 445 Project showcase

[NOTE: due to the Covid-19 pan­demic and social dis­tanc­ing mea­sures this show­case will happen only online, below are links to the dif­fer­ent projects and videos. There’s a chance that we’ll do a phys­i­cal show­case once gath­er­ings are again allowed]

On Tuesday April 14th 2020, the stu­dents from my course on “immer­sive envi­ron­ments” (IAT 445) will be pre­sent­ing their final projects in the Mezzanine on our SFU Surrey campus, from about 11am — 3pm.


10 stu­dent teams will show­case their own immer­sive Virtual Reality projects that they devel­oped in the pop­u­lar game engine Unity3D and will present using Vive Cosmos, HTC Vive, or Oculus Quest head-mounted displays.

this semester’s design chal­lenge for stu­dents is Shift: Using immer­sive expe­ri­ence design to con­tribute to mean­ing­ful solu­tions to real-world global chal­lenges, specif­i­cally cli­mate change or con­sumerism. Specifically, you will work in a team and use Unity and the guid­ing frame­works from this course (e.g., immer­sion, pres­ence, user-centered sys­tems design, agile devel­op­ment, trans­for­ma­tive expe­ri­ence design etc.) to iter­a­tively ideate, design, pro­to­type, and eval­u­ate an immer­sive inter­ac­tive VR expe­ri­ence that takes advan­tage of the unique affor­dances and capa­bil­i­ties of immer­sive VR expe­ri­ences. You will design for user expe­ri­ences that have the poten­tial to pos­i­tively shift users’ cognition/perspective and/or behav­ior that would oth­er­wise be impos­si­ble (or not as easily acces­si­ble) to most users. How can you pro­vide inter­est­ing, inspir­ing, or mean­ing­ful VR expe­ri­ences that create a pos­i­tive change in the user? That is, what expe­ri­ences can you pro­vide in VR that are oth­er­wise dif­fi­cult, dan­ger­ous, or hard to expe­ri­ence? Instead of using VR as a diver­sion and ulti­mate sen­sory over­load tool to wow people, think of ways you can use it for some­thing more inter­est­ing, novel, excit­ing, and mean­ing­ful. How will you go beyond tra­di­tional dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences and take advan­tage of the poten­tial of immer­sive technologies/VR?

Project posters:


Projects from Spring 2020

Phoenix's Sacrifice: It only takes a small spark to incinerate a forest, but just one seed to grow a new one.

Razor: Phoenix is an adven­ture game in which the player​ is a bird escap­ing a forest fire with a mis­sion to pre­serve the ecosys­tem for its future inhabitants.

Our project is a ​screen based com­puter game ​which takes place in a forest where a kook­aburra bird strug­gles to escape a fire caused by a patch of grass burned by the scorch­ing sun, a warm­ing cli­mate pos­si­bly due to the long term effects of human indus­trial activ­i­ties. The kook­aburra must flee for its life and join the mass escape of wildlife while car­ry­ing along a seed to bring life to a new area.

The kook­aburra flies through the forest and its wings become engulfed in flames and essen­tially becomes a phoenix. However, when the bird reaches its des­ti­na­tion it dies from the damage caused by the forest fire. In the end, the player’s real­iza­tion sets in that the bird was actu­ally on fire the whole time and had not turned into a phoenix.

Eden: Homecoming: As the descendant of a dying species living in the sky, humanity and what remains of a desolate earth all depends on you. 

Razor: A play­ful and thrilling sci­ence fic­tion fan­tasy adven­ture puzzle game in a post apoc­a­lyp­tic world with the goal of re-establishing life on earth.

On des­o­late Earth a wind­storm wipes away all living beings destroy­ing every­thing in its path. However, you find what appears to be the sole sur­viv­ing plant left on Earth’s soil. After waking up from the storm, you find your­self on a land away far from Earth with the plant still intact. Everything around you appears broken and in tat­ters. You repair the dam­ages caused by the storm to help create a sus­tain­able envi­ron­ment for the plant. Earth is slowly being puri­fied by the new plant life devel­oped in the sky.

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Air Pollution – The Silent Killer: Act now, create more solutions, not more pollution and change the future.

Razor: Let users feel air pol­lu­tion directly and immer­sive by making them become one of the victims

The Silent Killer is a project that spans time and space. The project envi­sions the future world will be affected by severely pol­luted air. People need to wear masks to sur­vive and living organ­isms die one after another. Spectators need to play the role of people who live in 2095 and go back to the year of 2020 to improve air pol­lu­tion in 2095.
The goal of the project is to lead play­ers to improve the envi­ron­ment of 2095 by doing chal­lenges in 2020. In order to achieve this, play­ers have to sort all the garbage in 2020 in a cer­tain amount of time. And then they will ​get game reward points, they can use the reward points to redeem the saplings of the tree. Besides, the saplings can be planted in the year of 2095 to ​help play­ers improve the air qual­ity in 2095. Otherwise, unsorted garbage will be sent to the garbage burn­ing fac­tory and pro­duce more pol­luted air; and the role may died because of seri­ous air pollution.

Waste Stranded - The Space of Forgotten Echoes: The human in us is greater than what our hands can make.

Razor: Using the latest time-travelling tech­nol­ogy to retrieve an eco­log­i­cal restora­tion machine from the near-future, you may be the only chance Earth has before humanity’s demise.

Waste Stranded: The Space of Forgotten Echoes is a spec­u­la­tive expe­ri­ence where one trav­els to the near-future, before the destruc­tion of mankind, to retrieve an eco­log­i­cal restora­tion machine back to the present with the aid of an AI audio com­pan­ion. As the player expe­ri­ences being in the city of the near-future, they receive flash-forwards of the destruc­tion of earth as result of a time-travel tech­nol­ogy glitch. They are prompted to make deci­sions sim­i­lar to that of our present in the near-future city as well, such as voting. It is a com­men­tary on the present illu­sion of safety while our earth grad­u­ally dies, and empha­sizes the fact that not even the most advanced tech­nol­ogy of our future will be able to save us if we don’t take imme­di­ate actions regard­ing cli­mate change.

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Terrapoint: Collaboration For The Next Generation

Razor: An adven­ture VR game that takes place in post-apocalyptic Earth after the wreck­age of cli­mate change and man-induced destruc­tion — team­work, problem-solving, and eco-friendly tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions are key to pre­serv­ing the planet.

Terrapoint is an adventure-puzzle VR game, where the player joins a team of spe­cial­ists sent by the World Restoration Commission. Their mis­sion is to set up an exper­i­men­tal ter­raform­ing machine called the Tree Pod to help bring the aban­doned Terrapoint District back to hab­it­able levels. The player is equipped with a spe­cial tether gun that pro­vides the abil­ity to con­trol and manip­u­late machines/robots in the envi­ron­ments, which they will need to use for tra­vers­ing the hos­tile game world. The player’s main objec­tive is to uti­lize the tether gun to reach harm­ful tech­nolo­gies, so that they can extract their energy sources and use them for pow­er­ing the Tree Pod. Gameplay com­bines free­dom of explo­ration and puzzle-solving mechan­ics, with some inspi­ra­tion from action games.

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Rabbit Rescue: Why are we scared of the wild, when they are the ones who should be scared of us? 

Razor: You are a lost rabbit in search of your family and a new home, all the while trying to weather the harsh ele­ments caused by cli­mate change.

Rabbit Rescue is an action packed sur­vival expe­ri­ence where you must guide a lost bunny through floods, forest fires and more. Solve puz­zles, con­serve resources, and dodge the deadly ele­ments to help your rabbit sur­vive. Follow a dra­ma­tized ver­sion of a young rabbit losing his home and family to cli­mate change and help him find his way back.

r​E​​​-​​collect: Wield the technology of the future to discover where it ends up today

Razor: A scav­enger hunt framed as an item col­lec­tion quest with Minecraft-like mining in VR but with elec­tron­ics and a linear nar­ra­tive, set within the con­text of e-waste’s effect on the environmen

It is a VR expe­ri­ence where par­tic­i­pants mine and col­lect mate­ri­als from e-waste while they rid an envi­ron­ment of tox­i­c­ity, so that they can per­form actions that allow them to have fur­ther envi­ron­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions for how they per­son­ally dis­pose and acquire electronics.

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Garbage Man: Searching for the past through the trash 

Razor: A VR fetch quest, explo­ration game that reveals the hidden sto­ries behind objects that were thrown into a landfill

Garbage man is a story focused col­lec­table game where play­ers have a list of items to find. As they find these items, each of these garbage will have a story behind why they need to be col­lected. These items slowly give a story about what hap­pened to this world, why it is so garbage filled, and why your char­ac­ter is doing this.

Birds of a Feather: Despite your best intentions you may fall victim to the harsh outcome of your surroundings 

Razor: Flock together in unity to pro­vide food for your young in the harsh con­di­tions that the envi­ron­ment pro­vides to you. 

Birds of a Feather raises aware­ness of garbage con­t­a­m­i­nants that pol­lute our nat­ural envi­ron­ment beyond our normal level of acknowl­edg­ment.
To swap roles with a bird, you are over­whelmed with amaz­ing free­dom– the abil­ity to search and forage food for your­self. Sometimes nature is for­giv­ing, and the sources of food for sur­vival are abun­dant. There are also times which food is scarcer, and despite your best inten­tions tragedies may occur. The user will do their best to pro­vide nur­ture to their bird, which they will name at the begin­ning of the per­for­mance. The theme of con­sum­ing to sur­vive will serve as a moti­va­tor for proper game­play and nur­ture of the nat­ural envi­ron­ment.
Eventually, the user will real­ize that col­lect­ing and con­sum­ing enough healthy food is impos­si­ble (more dif­fi­cult each day, sim­u­lated by a timer) and if the baby eats too many pieces of garbage they will pro­ceed to become more influ­enced by the sick­ness that the envi­ron­men­tal con­t­a­m­i­nants pro­vide.
Our aim is to edu­cate play­ers the sever­ity of phys­i­cal waste-based pol­lu­tion and the effects to the species that it cre­ates.
Players are able to see the effects of garbage, from the point of view of animal life, and expe­ri­ence how birds are affected by the garbage in their nat­ural envi­ron­ments. We hope to attain through this expe­ri­ence an impact on play­ers that makes them more aware about what we have done to our envi­ron­ment, with the hope that empa­thy influ­ences their future deci­sions in the real world.

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Passing Memories: Nature remembers the fate you chose 

Razor: This is a puzzle game where the story and ending changes depend­ing on how the play­ers com­plete the tasks, and the ending can be flour­ish­ing and vibrant or dark and des­o­late based on the player’s choices

Passing Memories is a nar­ra­tive game cen­tered around trav­el­ling through mem­o­ries of past envi­ron­men­tal actions, and living with the reper­cus­sions. Our player trav­els through rifts in their memory, lead­ing them towards a defin­ing fate. Either their choices are envi­ron­men­tally friendly and save the envi­ron­ment or their choices are lazy and create envi­ron­men­tal ruin. Either way, deci­sions do matter.

Showcase and Project Videos from Summer 2017 offering

On Friday June 23, 2017, the stu­dents from my course on “immer­sive envi­ron­ments” (IAT 445) pre­sented their final projects in the Mezzanine on our SFU Surrey campus, from 10am — 2:30pm.

IAT 445 immersive environments showcase Summer 2017

9 stu­dent teams will show­case their own immer­sive Virtual Reality projects that they devel­oped in the pop­u­lar game engine Unity3D and will present using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display.

Get ready to become a polar bear expe­ri­enc­ing the after­maths of our own deci­sion and how it affects global warm­ing, VR sur­vival train­ing while con­fronted with con­flict­ing inner voices, being a synaes­thete (seeing sound) in tur­moil over a con­flict of artis­tic aspi­ra­tions, unrav­el­ing the mys­ter­ies of an aban­doned man­sion, emo­tion­ally con­nect­ing to a child’s inner world by expe­ri­enc­ing their dreams, expe­ri­enc­ing the lone­li­ness of an aban­doned dog first-hand/paw, and much more.

Some projects draw from con­tem­po­rary indie/art com­puter games like Dear Esther, Journey, or Stanley’s Parable and cinema, fiction/sci-fi, and of course VR. Students were tasked to design for a pur­pose­ful and immer­sive user expe­ri­ence — this semester’s design chal­lenge for stu­dents was Going beyond: “Use unity3D and guid­ing frame­works (e.g., immer­sion, pres­ence, user-centered sys­tems design etc.) to iter­a­tively ideate, design, pro­to­type, and eval­u­ate an immer­sive and inter­ac­tive vir­tual envi­ron­ment expe­ri­ence that “goes beyond”: How could you pro­vide inter­est­ing, inspir­ing, or mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ences in VR? That is, what expe­ri­ences could you pro­vide in VR that are oth­er­wise dif­fi­cult, dan­ger­ous, or hard to expe­ri­ence? Instead of using VR as only a past-time and ulti­mate sen­sory over­load tool to wow people, how could you use it for some­thing more inter­est­ing, novel, excit­ing, or mean­ing­ful?” Be pre­pared for some excit­ing showcases!

In case you can’t make it to the inter­ac­tive project show­case, you can join the public project video pre­sen­ta­tion ses­sion on Thursday June 29th  at 2:30pm, in Surrey room #5380, or wait for the best videos to be posted online.

See SFU’s media release, on publicnow.com for cur­rent media infor­ma­tion, and the Teaching & Learning blog for a news story on this course from Spring 2013, enti­tled: “How a SIAT course in immer­sive envi­ron­ments exposed stu­dents to the real world

See my teach­ing page and SFU media release for more infos. The redesign of the 2013 offer­ing of the course was sup­ported by a Teaching and Learning Development Grant and invalu­able ongo­ing assis­tance by edu­ca­tional con­sul­tant Barb Berry.

Pictures from showcase:

Sample Project Videos


Canvas of Sound YouTube Preview Image

Echo YouTube Preview Image


Finding Home YouTube Preview Image

The Cave

Project posters:

Executive summaries that were handed out during the showcase

Showcase and Project Videos from Fall 2016 offering

IAT 445 immersive environments showcase Fall 2016

IAT 445 immer­sive envi­ron­ments show­case Fall 2016

Below are the project posters and pic­tures from our show­case on Friday December 9th 2016, where stu­dents from my course on “immer­sive envi­ron­ments” (IAT 445) pre­sented their final projects in the Mezzanine on our SFU Surrey campus, from about 10:00am — 2pm. See also SFU’s Media Advisory.

Students were tasked to design for a pur­pose­ful and immer­sive user expe­ri­ence — this semester’s design chal­lenge for stu­dents was evok­ing a strong yet mean­ing­ful feel­ing of empathy

Here’s the offi­cial SFU 1-minute cov­er­age of my IAT 445 Immersive Environments course:

YouTube Preview Image

and media cov­er­age from BlackPress at http://www.northdeltareporter.com/news/405786476.html]

Sample Project Videos

Parallel Minds

The Reef

The Painter


Below are the project posters:

and the first page of the executive  summaries (see here for Full pdf's)

other project pictures and materials:

Showcase and Project Videos from Summer Intersession 2015 offering

Below are the project posters and pic­tures from our show­case on Friday June 26th 2015

this semester’s design chal­lenge for stu­dents was evok­ing a strong yet mean­ing­ful emo­tional or vis­ceral response using an immer­sive envi­ronemnt built with the game engine Unity3D that most stu­dents just started learn­ing at the begin­ning of the semester.

Sample Project Videos

 CDM by team Much VR


 Mystic by team Mystikal Lab


B-Eye by team Bees


The Passage by team M.O.S.T.


https://vimeo.com/132536087 Hooked by team Muffins

Project showcase on Friday November 28th 2014

Below are the project posters for the Fall 2014 showcase

Project posters:

Sample Project Videos

Omen by team Maze


Love &Grief


Sweet Sacrifice  by team super sparkly pink uni­corn 4K

Impressions from the showcase:

Showcase and Project Videos from Summer Intersession 2014 offering

Below are the project posters for the show­case on Friday June 20th, 2014:

Sample Project Videos

Here are some of the final project videos of the teams:

Team Skywalker: Fall from the sky


Team Dream Up: Awakening




Team Zissou: Glow


Team imag­i­nar­i­ous: Lukomorye

Impressions from the showcase:

Showcase and Project Videos from Fall 2013 offering

Below are the project posters for the show­case on Thursday Nov. 28 2013:

Sample Project Videos

Here are some of the final project videos of the teams:

Team Mindfulness: (REM)INISCENT


Team Segway: Azuria

Team Insanity: Conjecture

Impressions from the showcase:

Showcase, Project Videos, and Portfolios from Spring 2013 offering

Examples from Project Showcase

On April 4 & 5th 2013, the stu­dents from the “immer­sive envi­ron­ments” course (IAT 445) pre­sented their final projects in the Mezzanine on our SFU Surrey campus9 Teams show­cased their own immer­sive Virtual Reality projects that they devel­oped in the pop­u­lar game engine Unity3D - for most of them this was their first expo­sure to the soft­ware. Below are first impres­sions of the show­case — thanks to all the stu­dents for their great contributions!  

Sample Project Videos

Here are some of the final project videos of the teams:

Team Pendulum: Finding Alice


Team UFOria: Alien Abduction


Team Underland: Underlurcker

Additional media cov­er­age: SFU media release


Student Portfolios

Below are some exam­ples from Student port­fo­lios which were cre­ated as part of this course to high­light stu­dents’ skills and projects and pro­mote their com­pet­i­tive­ness on the job market.
Amy Hsuanwen Wang
Devin Cook
Stefan Dalen
Sarah Han
Kyle Historillo
Khalid Abdullah
The redesign of the 2013 offer­ing of the course was sup­ported by a Teaching and Learning Development Grant and invalu­able assis­tance by edu­ca­tional con­sul­tant Barb Berry.

IAT 802: Quantitative Research Methods and Design

(taught in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 …)

Course Objectives, Learning Goals & Outcomes

The course struc­ture and teaching/learning activ­i­ties are designed around the fol­low­ing ques­tions. That is, by actively par­tic­i­pat­ing in this course, stu­dents should be able to effec­tively address the fol­low­ing ques­tions and per­form the respec­tive tasks:

1) What is sci­ence, the “sci­en­tific method” and quan­ti­ta­tive research? How do you think and argue like a good scientist?

2) Why do sci­ence? What is sci­en­tific & quan­ti­ta­tive research useful for?

  • a) Why could you be excited about sci­ence? What drives and excites a researcher?
  • b) What are advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of quan­ti­ta­tive & sci­en­tific research meth­ods (as com­pared to other meth­ods)? That is, what are they appro­pri­ate and useful for?

3) What to research? Why research something?

  • a) How to devise effec­tive research ques­tions and hypotheses?
  • b) How to effec­tively moti­vate research questions?

4) How to use quan­ti­ta­tive & sci­en­tific meth­ods prop­erly, care­fully & effectively?

  • a) Experimental design: How to design an effec­tive exper­i­ment? What does effec­tive mean?
  • b) Descriptive sta­tis­tics: How to present data effec­tively? What does effec­tive mean?
  • c) Inferential sta­tis­tics: What can you con­clude from quan­ti­ta­tive data? Why? What are your chances of being wrong? How do you decide which sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods to use? How to apply them prop­erly? How to do this in a given sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis software?

5) How to com­mu­ni­cate all that effec­tively and scholarly?

6) How to crit­i­cally eval­u­ate and dis­cuss the qual­ity of quan­ti­ta­tive / sci­en­tific research (of your­self and others)?

"What's in it for me"?

Practically speak­ing, engag­ing in this course will (hope­fully) enable you to

  • no longer fear sta­tis­tics (in case you ever might have ;-), but instead appre­ci­ate and enjoy the beauty and craft of rig­or­ous sci­en­tific research
  • design, con­duct, ana­lyze, write up, present, and dis­cuss your own quan­ti­ta­tive (or mixed-methods) research projects
  • tackle your own thesis research projects suc­cess­fully, by having the most pow­er­ful sci­en­tific research tool­box at your fingertips
  • have enough skills to con­tinue learn­ing and apply­ing scientific/quantitative research meth­ods prop­erly (the goal of the course is to give you a solid basis in the basic research meth­ods and the skills to keep learn­ing and suc­cesss­fully apply­ing more advanced ones)

Textbooks & tutorials

  • Field, A., & Hole, G. J. (2003). How to Design and Report Experiments. Sage Publications. ISBN: 0761973834 
  • TBD: Open Learning Initiative Statistics (online learn­ing mod­ules, prob­a­bly with a $25.00 fee. Registration infos will be pro­vided in class / by email) might also be: Statistical Reasoning by CMU OLI (no-login link & out­line)

Statistics and JMP resources & links to video tutorials and online courses etc.

JMP & statistics short summaries and cheat-sheets from Bernhard

(Note: these are draft and work in progress, feed­back is welcome):

Bernhard’s first attempts to do short sta­tis­tics video tuto­ri­als for SPSS & JMP

Peer-reviewed publications based on my teaching of IAT802

(Let me know if I’m miss­ing any pub­li­ca­tions in this list so I can update things)

Ens, J., Pasquier, P., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). The Significance of the Low Complexity Dimension in Music Similarity Judgements. 31–38. (Download)
Hashemian, A. M., & Riecke, B. E. (2017, April 6). Rotate and Lean: Does Leaning toward the Target Direction Improves the Virtual Reality Navigation? [Poster]. Second International Workshop on Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition, Tübingen, Germany. (Download)
Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017, April 6). Investigating the Effect of Simulated Reference Frames on Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality [Poster]. Second International Workshop on Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition, Tübingen, Germany. (Download)
Jones, B., Maiero, J., Mogharrab, A., Aguliar, I. A., Adhikari, A., Riecke, B. E., Kruijff, E., Neustaedter, C., & Lindeman, R. W. (2020). FeetBack: Augmenting Robotic Telepresence with Haptic Feedback on the Feet. Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 194–203. https://doi.org/10.1145/3382507.3418820
Malekmakan, M., Stuerzlinger, W., & Riecke, B. E. (2020). Analyzing the Trade-off between Selection and Navigation in VR. 1–3. https://vrst.acm.org/vrst2020/?page_id=515 (Download)
Hashemian, A. M., Kitson, A., Nguyen-Vo, T., Benko, H., Stuerzlinger, W., & Riecke, B. E. (2018). Investigating a Sparse Peripheral Display in a Head-Mounted Display for VR Locomotion. 2-page extended abstract and poster. (Download)
Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2018). Simulated Reference Frame: A Cost-Effective Solution to Improve Spatial Orientation in VR. 415–422. (Download)
Sun, J., Stuerzlinger, W., & Riecke, B. E. (2018). Comparing Input Methods and Cursors for 3D Positioning with Head-mounted Displays. Proceedings of the 15th ACM Symposium on Applied Perception, 8:1–8:8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3225153.3225167
Hashemian, A. M., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Leaning-Based 360° Interfaces: Investigating Virtual Reality Navigation Interfaces with Leaning-Based-Translation and Full-Rotation. In S. Lackey & J. Chen (Eds.), Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VAMR 2017) (Vol. 10280, pp. 15–32). Springer. https://youtu.be/7IT9EODJn3c (Download)
Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017). Moving in a Box: Improving Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality using Simulated Reference Frames. 207–208. https://doi.org/10.1109/3DUI.2017.7893344 (Download)
Pan, R., Singhal, S., Cramer, E., Riecke, B. E., & Neustaedter, C. (2017). “MyEyes”: The Design and Evaluation of First Person View Video Streaming for Long-Distance Couples. 135–146. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064663.3064671 (Download)
Quesnel, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Awestruck: Natural Interaction with Virtual Reality on Eliciting Awe. 205–206. https://doi.org/10.1109/3DUI.2017.7893343 (Download)
Wong, S., Yang, L., Riecke, B. E., Cramer, E., & Neustaedter, C. (2017). Assessing the Usability of Smartwatches for Academic Cheating during Exams. 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1145/3098279.3098568 (Download)
Fan, J., Thorogood, M., Riecke, B. E., & Pasquier, P. (2015). Automatic Recognition of Eventfulness and Pleasantness of Soundscape. Proceedings of the Audio Mostly 2015 on Interaction With Sound, 12:1–12:6. https://doi.org/10.1145/2814895.2814927 (Download)
Joksimovic, S., Gasevic, D., Kovanovic, V., Riecke, B. E., & Hatala, M. (2015). It is the qual­ity not quan­tity that mat­ters: Social pres­ence in online dis­cus­sions as a process pre­dic­tor of aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
Riecke, B. E., Jordan, J. D., Prpa, M., & Feuereissen, D. (2014). Underlying Perceptual Issues in Virtual Reality Systems: Does Display Type Affect Self-Motion Perception? [Talk]. 55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Los Angeles, USA.
Freiberg, J., Grechkin, T., & Riecke, B. E. (2013). Do walk­ing motions enhance visu­ally induced self-motion illu­sions in vir­tual real­ity? IEEE Virtual Reality, 101–102. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2013.6549382
Freiberg, J., & Riecke, B. E. (2013). Its your turn: Enhancing visu­ally induced self motion illu­sions (“vec­tion”) with walk­ing motions in vir­tual real­ity [Poster]. 54th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Toronto, Canada.

Project presentations

Latest presentations (Spring 2020)

on April 23rd 2020, the 8 stu­dents in my grad course on “Quantitative Research Methods & Design (IAT802) pre­sented their project — due to the Covid-19 pan­demic all-virtual, here are their videos, enjoy!

Project presentations from Fall 2016 offering

On November 26th, the 17 stu­dents in my grad course on “Quantitative Research Methods & Design (IAT802)” that I taught in Fall 2016 give their final 5:30-min project pre­sen­ta­tions in the SIAT research col­lo­quium at Simon Fraser University. Enjoy!

here’s the video record­ing of the whole ses­sion:


Here’s the list of speak­ers and topics

  • Elgin McLaren:   Attention Retention: The effec­tive­ness of neu­ro­feed­back sys­tems for cueing sus­tained attention
  • Jeff Ens: Music and the role of dimen­sional com­plex­ity in sim­i­lar­ity judgements
  • Arron Ferguson: Choose Wrong, Someone Dies: Measuring Engagement with Ethical Choices and Character Consistency in Interactive Narrative
  • Duc-Minh Pham: Body-based Navigation: A Promising Locomotion Technique in Immersive Virtual Environment.
  • Ray Pan: “Split, Horizontal or Overlapped?”: Comparing Social Presence and Body Ownership in Shared Video Views for Long Distance Relationships
  • Denise Quesnel:   Are you awed yet? Objective and sub­jec­tive indi­ca­tors of awe, using vir­tual real­ity content
  • Mia Cole: Time to Relax: No effects to the stress response after short-term use of an EEG-based brain-computer interface.
  • Maha El Meseery:   TBD (Will track­ing user inter­ac­tions during visual explo­ration helps improve their analy­sis efficiency? )
  • Ted Nguyen Vo: Moving in a Box: A Visual Cue for Virtual Reality Locomotion
    Fatemeh Salehian Kia: Motive or Strategic Student: Comparing 3 Types of Visual Feedbacks on Students’ Performance with Different Learning Styles in Online Discussions
  • Junwei Sun: Assessing Input Methods and Cursor Displays for 3D Positioning with HMDs
    Narges Ashtari: Exploring fac­tors which affect archi­tects design explo­ration struc­ture in CAD spaces
  • Stephanie Wong: Easy A: assess­ing student’s abil­ity to cheat with smart­watch
    Abraham Hashemian: Leaning-Based 360 Locomotion Interfaces: How good are they for nav­i­ga­tion in Virtual Reality
  • Serkan Pekcetin: Measuring the Effect of Binaural Audio on the Sense of Direction in Virtual Environments
  • Xintian Sun: Where Was It? Evaluating Spatial Memory in Different Backgrounds from Static and Moving Viewpoints




Project presentations from Fall 2014 offering

On November 26th 2014, the 9 stu­dents in my grad course on “Quantitative Research Methods & Design (IAT802)” that I taught in Fall 2014 gave their final 7-min project pre­sen­ta­tions in the SIAT research col­lo­quium at Simon Fraser University. Enjoy! I think the stu­dents did an amaz­ing job, quite proud of them! — for many it was their first sci­en­tific research project and presentation!

(alter­nate link)

Here’s the list of speak­ers and topics

  • Alejandro:  Non-Expert Movement Observation Using Laban Movement Analysis
  • Alex Kitson:  Individual fac­tors influ­enc­ing ori­en­ta­tion per­for­mance in vir­tual environments
  • Jianyu Fan:  Groundtruthing and Validating the Soundscape Valence/Arousal Classification with Multiple Users
  • William Li:  Validation of MotionCapture (MoCap) Labels in Movement
  • Jason Procyk:  Video Feedback for Ice Hockey: Investigating the Effect on Shot Training
  • Luciano Frizzera:
  • Effectiveness and effi­ciency of time rep­re­sen­ta­tion on human spa­tial move­ment map visualization
  • Srilekha Kirshnamachari Sridharan:  Association of Colors to Phoneme-Grapheme pairs.
  • Kıvanç Tatar:  Empirical Evaluation of a Commercial Synthesizer Automatic Calibration System
  • Arefin Mohiuddin:  Exploration of Parallel Alternatives in Design Tasks — The Effect on Task Completion Times

Project presentations from Fall 2013 offering

Here are the pre­sen­ters & talk titles:

Carolyn Pang    Evaluating the Usability of Desktop and Mobile Government Portals
Mirjana Prpa    Can an immer­sive dis­play enhance the expe­ri­ence of self-motion illu­sions in VR?
Sujoy Hajra    Evaluating EEG based mea­sures for lan­guage ther­apy assess­ment in stroke patients
Xiaolan Wang    Does pre­vi­ous con­tact with fund­ing orga­ni­za­tions affect the money com­mu­nity gar­dens get?
Emily C    Color’s effect on learn­ing symbol-sound rela­tion­ships
Ankit Gupta      Can seman­ti­cally labeled graphs help you find infor­ma­tion faster?
Xiao Zhang    Progressive or regres­sive visual inter­face design: com­par­ing user expe­ri­ence sup­ported by iOS 7 versus iOS 6
Ethan Soutar-Rau     It all started with a Penguin
Reese Muntean    Effects of Gender on Beer Preference
Sohail.Md    Melodic com­par­i­son in META-MELO system
Xin Tong    Comparison between two kinds of Virtual Reality dis­play: the Oculus Rift HMD & the Firsthand dis­play
Sanam Shirazi    Can we pre­dict stu­dents’ aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance from engage­ment in online learn­ing activ­i­ties?
Srecko Joksimovic The level of social pres­ence in online learn­ing com­mu­nity as a pre­dic­tor of stu­dents’ aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance
Jacqueline Jordan     Does vec­tion inten­sity differ between Virtual Reality dis­plays?

Project presentations from Fall 2012 offering

For the first time, stu­dents from the SIAT grad­u­ate course on “Quantitative Research Methods & Design (IAT802)” that I taught in Fall 2012 at SIAT gave their final 6-min project pre­sen­ta­tion pub­licly in the SIAT research col­lo­quium. Enjoy! I think the stu­dents did a won­der­ful job — for many it was their first sci­en­tific research project and presentation!


Jake Freiberg                Biomechanical Influences on Visually Induced Rotational Vection
Audrey Desjardins       Exploring Computer Mice Materials and Affective Responses
Jim Silvester                 The Effect of Viewpoint Jitter on Circular Vection in Virtual Reality
Nadya Calderon            Animation of Real-Time Series: Trends and Common Fate
Mehdi Karamnejad      The Effects of Walking on Galvonic Skin Response
Saeedeh Bayatpour      The Ability of Fusion in Three-Dimensional Autostereogram
Omid Alemi                   Are We Biased Against Computers’ Creativity?
Lisa Donaldson            The Effect of Contrast on Circular Vection When Viewed Within Virtual Reality

The last two pre­sen­ta­tions were recorded in out normal sem­i­nar room a few days later:

Jillian Warren             The Effect of Textual and Pictorial Representation on Learning Ability with Interactive Tangibles
Laura Lande              The Effects of Nursing Experience on Diagnosing Fetal Position

IAT 201: Human-Computer Interaction & Cognition

(taught 2008 — Fall 2012)

Course map and other information

Sample final project videos from previous course offerings

Many pre­vi­ous course project videos are avail­able at here or directly on youtube or vimeo. Below are some recent sample videos

(SFU Enrollment System; thanks: team 402, Fall 2012)

IAT 201 — SFU ENROLLMENT SYSTEM from Bruce Lui on Vimeo.

(Treadmill Redesign; thanks: team 403, Fall 2012)

Treadmil, Flexdeck Shock Absorption System (Life Fitness 95Ti) Redesign from Adam Lin on Vimeo.


(Cineplex Self-Ticketing Machine ReDesign; thanks: team 205, Spring 2012):


(Sony Reader; thanks: team 102, Spring 2012):

IAT 201 Final Video (Sony Reader) from aaron|lalau on Vimeo.

(Minitab redesign; thanks: team 205, Fall 2011):

[IAT201] Miniclip Redesign from Kim on Vimeo.


Roland dig­i­tal sam­pler re-design: (thanks: team 803, Spring 2011!)


iTunes re-design: Thanks: Team 605, Spring 2011!


here’s an older project video (before we started includ­ing the final user study results). Thanks: team thun­der­punch, fall 2009!)





IAT 812: Cognition, Learning and Collaboration

(taught Spring 2009–2012)

Course map and other infor­ma­tion

Here’s a record­ing of the final 5-min stu­dent project pre­sen­ta­tions from the IAT812 course that I taught in Spring 2012 at SIAT. Enjoy!



Some of the papers that orig­i­nated in IAT812 that I taught from 2009 — 2012  were later pub­lished. Below are some of them (papers I didn’t co-author are not listed, sorry):

Published peer-reviewed papers based on my teaching of IAT812


Abukhodair, F. A., Riecke, B. E., Erhan, H. I., & Shaw, C. D. (2013). Does inter­ac­tive ani­ma­tion con­trol improve exploratory data analy­sis of ani­mated trend visu­al­iza­tion? Proc. SPIE 8654, Visualization and Data Analysis 2013, 86540I-86540I. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2001874 (Download)
Al-Hajj, S., Pike, I., Riecke, B., & Fisher, B. (2013). Visual Analytics for Public Health: Supporting Knowledge Construction and Decision-Making. 2416–2423. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2013.599
Pang, C. E., Neustaedter, C., Riecke, B. E., Oduor, E., & Hillman, S. (2013). Technology pref­er­ences and rou­tines for shar­ing health infor­ma­tion during the treat­ment of a chronic ill­ness. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1759–1768. https://doi.org/10.1145/2470654.2466232 (Download)
Riecke, B. E., & Sigurdarson, S. (2013). Simple Modifications of Visuals can Enhance Spatial Orientation Ability in Virtual Environments, Whereas Adding Physical Rotations May Not [Talk]. 54th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Toronto, Canada.


Calderon, N., Riecke, B. E., & Fisher, B. (2012). Augmenting Visual Representation of Affectively Charged Information using Sound Graphs. Poster Abstracts of IEEE VisWeek 2012, 113–114. (Download)
Macaranas, A., Antle, A. N., & Riecke, B. E. (2012). Bridging the gap: attribute and spa­tial metaphors for tan­gi­ble inter­face design. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’12), 161–168. https://doi.org/10.1145/2148131.2148166 (Download)
McIntosh, L., Riecke, B. E., & DiPaola, S. (2012). Efficiently Simulating the Bokeh of Polygonal Apertures in a Post‐Process Depth of Field Shader. Computer Graphics Forum, 31(6), 1810–1822. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467–8659.2012.02097.x (Download)
Riecke, B. E., Sigurdarson, S., & Milne, A. P. (2012). Moving Through Virtual Reality Without Moving? Cognitive Processing, 13(1), 293–297. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-012‑0491-7 (Download)
Sigurdarson, S., Milne, A. P., Feuereissen, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2012). Can phys­i­cal motions pre­vent dis­ori­en­ta­tion in nat­u­ral­is­tic VR? IEEE Virtual Reality, 31–34. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2012.6180874 (Download)


Lockyer, M., Bartram, L., & Riecke, B. E. (2011). Simple motion tex­tures for ambi­ent affect. Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging, 89–96. https://doi.org/10.1145/2030441.2030461 (Download)
Nasirova, D., Erhan, H. I., Huang, A. T., Woodbury, R., & Riecke, B. E. (2011). Change Detection in 3D Parametric Systems: Human-Centered Interfaces for Change Visualization. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures, 751–764. (Download)
Riecke, B. E., & Hastings, L. (2011). Do Virtual and Real Environments Influence Spatial Cognition Similarly? [Poster 1031]. 52th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Seattle, USA. (Download)
Shireen, N. I., Erhan, H., Sanchez, R., Popovic, J., Woodbury, R., & Riecke, B. E. (2011). Design space explo­ration in para­met­ric sys­tems: ana­lyz­ing effects of goal speci­ficity and method speci­ficity on design solu­tions. Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, 249–258. https://doi.org/10.1145/2069618.2069660
Vidyarthi, J., Riecke, B. E., & Antle, A. N. (2011). Sympathetic guitar: humans respond socially to inter­ac­tive tech­nol­ogy in an abstract, expres­sive con­text. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging (ACM CAe ’11), 9–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/2030441.2030443 (Download)


Erfani, M., El-Nasr, M., Milam, D., Aghabeigi, B., Lameman, B., Riecke, B. E., Maygoli, H., & Mah, S. (2010). The Effect of Age, Gender, and Previous Gaming Experience on Game Play Performance. In P. Forbrig, F. Paternó, & A. Mark Pejtersen (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction (Vol. 332, pp. 293–296). Springer Boston. https://doi.org/doi: 10.1007/978–3-642–15231-3_33
Erfani, M., El-Nasr, M., Milam, D., Aghabeigi, B., Lameman, B., Riecke, B. E., Maygoli, H., & Mah, S. (2010). The Effect of Age, Gender, and Previous Gaming Experience on Customization activ­i­ties within games. Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. (Download)
Kolarić, S., Erhan, H., Woodbury, R., & Riecke, B. E. (2010). Comprehending para­met­ric CAD models. Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Extending Boundaries — NordiCHI ’10, 707–710. https://doi.org/10.1145/1868914.1869010 (Download)
Rajus, V. S., Woodbury, R., Erhan, H. I., Riecke, B. E., & Mueller, V. (2010). Collaboration in Parametric Design: Analyzing User Interaction during Information Sharing. Arcadia 2010, 320–326. https://doi.org/10.1145/1868914.1869010 (Download)
Seaborn, K., Riecke, B. E., & Antle, A. N. (2010). Exploring the inter­play of visual and haptic modal­i­ties in a pattern-matching task. Proceedings of the 9th IEEE International Symposium on Haptic Audio Visual Environments and Games, 61–66. (Download)


Moura, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2009). Is seeing a vir­tual envi­ron­ment like seeing the real thing? Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization (ACM APGV), 131. ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1620993.1621025
Riecke, B. E., Behbahani, P. A., & Shaw, C. D. (2009). Display size does not affect ego­cen­tric dis­tance per­cep­tion of nat­u­ral­is­tic stim­uli. Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization (ACM APGV), 15–18. ACM.
Riecke, B. E., & Moura, D. (2009). Comparing spa­tial perception/cognition in real versus immer­sive vir­tual envi­ron­ments — it doesn’t com­pare! [Poster]. 50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Boston, USA.